Not too long ago, I was talking to a friend about whether couple tattoos are ridiculously stupid or not. In my mind, I think they are impractical and entirely different than, say, getting a dedicatory tattoo for your mother or your childhood cat, as most — indeed, most! — relationships do end. He, on the other hand, felt that my attitude signified a pessimism toward “true love” and that I shouldn’t be so skeptical about it. My friend insisted that most love-related tattoos were symbolic of a hopeful sentiment toward one’s relationship, something I actually agree with, but still do not find particular practical nor realistic to dedicate (though, to be fair, tattoos absolutely do not need to be practical whatsoever).
Then, this morning, I saw an article on Huffington Post reporting that Heidi Klum is “in the process” of removing a tattoo commemorating her seven-year marriage to Seal. For a long time, they were one of the media’s favorite couples with their cute children and absurdly cool couple’s costumes. It got me thinking once again about couple tattoos and how most of the time, they seem so…stupid.
Now, I love tattoos. I think they’re great! I don’t believe they all need to have some deep, complex meaning that requires explanation; most of mine are so obvious, it’s probably painful. I chose to have these images and words permanently put on my body because I know I’ll never not be a feminist, never not love opera, never not think my grandfather or mom are the coolest, and so on. Not one is related to a partner because predicting those futures is so much less possible.
The likelihood of breaking up is just so high, it really, really is. Sure, you might wind up disliking other people you could get a matching or dedicatory tattoo with, but the chances of your mom suddenly turning into an awful person — after being great enough to get the tattoo in the first place — or hating your dog are considerably slimmer than those of a possible breakup or divorce.
The obvious response to my thoughts is, “Well then, Sam, just don’t get one for yourself.” I mean, I despise and resent shrimp, so I don’t order them; why should couple tattoos be any different? The fact is that they aren’t, really, so I will not be getting one; it’s really the “that makes you pessimistic of true love” observation that got to me.
Perhaps I am just cynical (I do apparently hate love or whatever). Maybe you and your relationship are different and you two are never, ever, ever getting away from each other. Or maybe, even if you do break up, you won’t regret getting the tattoo because it was from a happy time! Maybe getting that bridge you met on inscribed inside your wrist or their name in a foreign language will still be grand regardless. And good for you, because that makes you more positive than I ever could be (seriously, I commend those with strongly optimistic natures).
For many people, however, the tattoo will only serve as an unpleasant or somber reminder if you go through a rough split — as is typically the kind that comes with the end of a partnership intense enough to commemorate with permanent body modification.
But, again, I’m
probably just cynical.
Photo: auroraamber / Flickr